A history lesson…
Like the old dog in the corner, the Mondeo seems to have been with us forever. It’s one of Ford’s finest ambassadors; always representing and selling well in a very difficult and competitive saloon car market.
The latest Mondeo looks absolutely stunning, but used Mondeos can be a great buy, too. Its lasting legacy will be its supreme affordability and driving experience. The Mondeo is not a BMW, and it doesn’t pretend to be. It’s just a great saloon car with bags of history and a sorted chassis. That’s it. No gimmicks, no brand-snobbery; just a saloon that Ford has really done the business on.
Bang for your buck
For most used car Mondeo buyers, a Zetec or Ghia variant will be the clever buy with a diesel engine, but there are other models. The rare but brilliant ST220 version is one of the slowest selling cars in the UK, but yet it’s still fantastic. If you’re after performance and looks, the ST220 is the only Mondeo you can own.
There’s a massive choice of engines, trim and spec-levels with the Mondeo, and with respectable residuals and a whole host of gadgets to keep you happy, the Mondeo makes sense as a great second-hand buy.
What you’ll pay
Depending on age, condition and mileage, a Mondeo can be a very cheap saloon car, indeed. Prices for a ’04 Mondeo will be around £4,000 for a decent example with less than 70,000 miles on the clock.
Even the rare and exclusive ST220 will be less than £7,000, which is a bargain for a car with 200+bhp.
What to check
Ford’s reliability over the years has improved drastically, but if you’re buying a pre-2001 car make sure rust hasn’t taken over and that all the other usual checks are looked at. Other than that, you should be absolutely fine no matter what engine or spec you choose.
Again, like the Focus or Fiesta, Ford’s replacement parts are very respectable and affordable. New exhausts are around £300, while a replacement manual door-mirror is about £50.
Ford’s company ethos was always affordability, and they seem to be keeping with that ideology with the price of its parts.
How it drives
Like a dream. The Mondeo is not a £30k BMW saloon, nor is it classed as a super-saloon, but yet it still manages to be one of the most exciting and impressive cars on the open road. For years, the BMW 3-Series was in the shadow of the Mondeo, but since those days BMW’s 3-Series has taken the sales crown, which means the Mondeo is now an alternative choice – who’d of thought it?
The sporty ST220 will keep the drivers happy, while a diesel Zetec or Ghia is the car for the eco-conscious motorist. Newer models are available with very green ‘Econetic’ variant, which is designed to save the planet and keep the Green party happy.
Performance across the range is decent but not Veyron-beating; the Mondeo really is just a saloon to waft in and drive responsibly. It’s not a sporty set-up like a 3-Series, but it is a well-made and reliable saloon that will keep your wallet feeling healthy.